Meet Your Special Mail Agents
In early 1997, Ken Brown III, founder and co-owner of Scan Mailboxes, had the idea of a mail scanning service when he lived in Oklahoma City. While he worked with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI), security reasons required him to rent a post office box for his personal mail. Brown got tired of wasting his time and gas to check his mailbox only to find that it was empty or full of junk mail. An inventor and entrepreneur-at-heart, Brown had the idea to scan mail and then email the contents to consumers, but he wasn’t in the place to see this idea become a reality yet. Later, in 2007, Brown used a franchise private mailbox rental service in the Dallas area when he worked for Sprint Corporation as a National Account Executive. He was surprised that mail scanning services were not yet available with all the existing technology. He traveled frequently and wished that he could check his mailbox online.
Over the years, Brown’s wife served in various positions on the board of several local organizations. She was responsible to check the out-of-the-way mailbox once per month. Often, the mail was outdated by the time she retrieved it from the box. Again, the desire to check mail from your computer or mobile device was brought up as a need. The Browns knew they couldn’t be the only ones wanting this service.
In 2013, Brown learned of and even used another mail-scanning service Outbox Mail, but he felt it was restrictive. Customers had to use their own address, and the mail was retrieved from the mailboxes only a few times per week, being automatically opened and scanned, leaving no privacy control in the hands of the customer.
Brown had, for 17 years, liked the idea of scanning mail and posting it for customers to check online, but he knew there was a better way than driving all over town only to deliver mail days later. As Jay Leno joked about the Outbox Mail service, “[Why not] just walk 20 feet to your mailbox?”
As comedian Jerry Seinfeld recently said in his stand-up act on “The Tonight Show” starring Jimmy Fallon, “If you [the Post Office] really want to be helpful to us, just open the letters, read’em and email us what it says!” This is exactly what Scan Mailboxes provides along with complete confidentiality and control in mind.
Last year, Brown shared his dream with his former colleague and now co-owner, Chris Landry, about running this business together. Scan Mailboxes launched on April 2, 2014, in Austin, Texas, serving customers globally.